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Options for mod 70 pre 64

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Old 03-15-2011, 03:41 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 14
Options for mod 70 pre 64

I have a winchester model 70 pre 64 30-06 and would like to put some money into it what would be my options and how much will it cost me to have a smith set this up? I would keep the action and add different stock and barrel. What caliber should i go with? I want to shoot 1000 yards and this gun will not be used for hunting just target shooting.

Thanks Ryan...
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:52 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,099
Re: Options for mod 70 pre 64

I just rebuilt a pre 64 Mdl 70 30-06. I kept it a 06 for a whole bunch of reasons. I wanted to turn it into a 300 WM but after a lot of research found out to install a longer mag box in this model is really rough. I did not want to alter the receiver as I still have the original barrel. The rifle is on its forth barrel but the original stock was broke when a horse went down.

You have a lot of options with that action without altering the mag box. You need to pick a smith and start knocking it around.

I used a Brux barrel #5 contour finished at 25.5. Also used a McMillan Adj HTG stock pillar bedded. I used a Near picattiny rail that the smith bedded with Seekins rings and for now a Leupold scope. I stayed with the original trigger set at 3 lbs. I had the smith blue all the metal with a semi flat black to match most of the scope color's today. The rifle is shooting right around 1/2 MOA but am still working on the load. The rifle ended up at 11.25 lbs loaded and ready to go.

I'm in about thirteen hundred bucks.

If you change your mind and want to part with that action PM me.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:47 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 14
Re: Options for mod 70 pre 64

Thanks for the reply I love the 30-06 but im not sure it will do what i want.
How far are you able to shoot with yours?
If there was a way to get the gun setup and get the ammo lined out so it would be able to shoot 1000yrd i would be all over it. I have a few model 70s but this is the only pre 64 that i have someone reblued it and the stalk and barrel are not in the best condition that is the only reson that i am going to do this to this gun.
Would you be able to post some pictures of your gun??
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:36 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Central AZ
Posts: 910
Re: Options for mod 70 pre 64

If you reload, then a bunch of options open up regarding caliber. If not, the the 6.5x284 built on a long action could be a fine long range rig for bustin rocks and ringing steel. Good ammo is readily available over the counter. It is marginal for elk at longer distances, but deer and proghorn out to 1000 yds. are very doable with this caliber.

If you are willing to reload, the 280 AI or the 6.5-06 AI are great long range calibers.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:33 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,608
Re: Options for mod 70 pre 64

I am a M70 fan. And, I don't know what you'll end up spending to do what you're asking.

But while you weigh your options, take a look at the Savage 12 F-Class rifles in 308, 6BR, and 6.5x284. These run about $1k and make great long range paper punchers.

-- richard
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:31 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chelan Co, Washington
Posts: 519
Re: Options for mod 70 pre 64

Ryan - if you're sure that you won't ruin a collector's gun, then yes, you can build your Model 70 into an awesome long range rifle. Those pre-64 rifles though, are worth pretty good money even in poor shape, so consider that before you start tearing it apart for a custom build.

The Model 70 was the darling of the long-range NRA Highpower shooters through the 1960's, 70's, 80's and beyond. Until a couple of years ago I had a great post-64 Win 70 match rifle built by Jim Cloward (former U.S. 1,000 yard prone champion). It's a terrific rifle! I sold it to a fellow who was getting his son involved in competition shooting.

The .30-06 is MORE than enough cartridge for good shooting at 1,000 yards. It has a decided advantage over the more common .308 Win, which I use. That generous case capacity can handle a lot of slow-burning powder, pushing a heavier bullet very well. German Salazar, a noted Highpower shooter, authored a great article on using the .30-06 at long range. His is built on a Remington action, but in the article he goes into some detail about why he built a .30-06, and the advantages it offers. There's also a lot of excellent load data for long range ammo in the article:

Rem 40XL: .30-06 Long Action

These days my only Model 70 is a pretty decent .300 WSM that I use mostly for hunting, but is also very good at the rifle range. I haven't pushed it beyond 600 yards yet. It shoots well at that distance though.

Regards, Guy
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:46 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chelan Co, Washington
Posts: 519
Re: Options for mod 70 pre 64

How much it costs depends on how much you want to do - it may well be less expensive to buy a used match rifle... Worth considering.

A barrel - buy a good one from Krieger, Hart, Lilja or one of the many other high quality barrel makers. Your smith may have a barrel maker he prefers to work with. I'm a Krieger fan, but there are many other very good barrels available. Figure $300 for the barrel, then you're going to have to pay the smith to true the action, chamber and thread the barrel and also cut and crown it. I'd estimate around $500 - $600 all up for the new barrel by the time it's installed. Krieger, Pac-Nor and Hart will install the barrel for you if you send your action to them. The wait is long, but workmanship tends to be good.

Stocks - for starters find the McMillan web site and take a look at different competition style stocks. Figure if you're going to shoot benchrest, or NRA Highpower or F-class, which is a subset of NRA prone competition. You can shoot a scoped rifle in either Highpower (any rifle/any sight) or in F-class. Otherwise highpower shooting is done with very nice sights, more expensive than many scopes. Benchrest is of course done with a scope. The type of competition/target shooting you want to do will have a direct influence on your choice of stock. Stocks made for benchrest are not particularly well suited for highpower and vice-versa. Decent target stocks go $500+, unless you catch a good used one for sale. If you don't want to do the bedding work yourself, figure another couple of hundred bucks for a smith to do a good job of pillar and glass bedding it.

Cartridge choice. Since your rifle is a .30-06 already, the bolt face can accommodate a wide variety of options. If you're not hunting with the rifle, POWER isn't really a factor. You don't need to penetrate an elk shoulder at 800 yards, just get through paper. What you want is ACCURACY! Starting with the .30-06 bolt face, I'm hard pressed to come up with a more accurate cartridge than the 6mmBR or the slightly modified cases based on the 6mmBR, such as the Dasher.

6mmBR Cartridge Guide

6BR Improved Cartridge Guide

No - you don't need a bigger cartridge to shoot well at long range. A step up to 6.5 or 7mm could work well too, particularly with something like the 6.5-284, which could be built very nicely on your pre-64 Winchester action...

You've got all kinds of options with a pre-64 Win Model 70 .30-06 to work from. It's not likely to be inexpensive turning it into a long-range match type rifle though. Frankly, I'd seriously consider selling it, and shopping for an already built match rifle. If you want a new, ready-to go rifle, look at the Savage match rifle avail in 6.5-284 right from the factory... They're really pretty darned good.

Best of luck! Guy
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